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Santa Monica To Celebrate Expo Line's Opening With Open Streets Festival

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Two weeks after the Expo Line begins service connecting downtown L.A. to the beach, Santa Monica will host its first ever "open-streets" event, just like CicLAvia, on June 5th.

Like CicLAvia, Santa Monica's yet to be named event will open three roads in the city's downtown area exclusively to pedestrians, cyclists and other human-powered transportation, according to Santa Monica Next.

The open-streets event will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. along Ocean Avenue, Colorado Avenue and Main Street, sealing off just under 2 miles of street space to motorized vehicles. The Expo Line's Downtown Santa Monica station sits right at the center of the route.

Welcoming the Expo Line to Santa Monica is a key part of the open-streets event. Starting May 20th, Angelenos will be able to ride the rails to Santa Monica for the first time in more than 50 years. As such, when Santa Monica's event does take place, Angelenos will be able to travel there by rail all the way from places like Long Beach, East L.A., Koreatown, and North Hollywood. Undoubtedly the connection galvanizes L.A.'s movement towards once again becoming a city of rail.

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While Santa Monica hasn't yet announced much by way of specific events and attractions, S.M. Next points out that the event's route will guide participants past some of the finest shops and eateries the bourgie beach town has to offer. Apparently, organizers are also considering developing a restaurant crawl along Ocean Avenue to take place at the same time as the open-streets event. Other possibilities include live music and a beer garden, along with the usual array of arts and crafts.

Officially, Santa Monica's open-streets event is not affiliated with CicLAvia, and is instead being organized by a nonprofit that manages city services in S.M.'s downtown area, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc the city of Santa Monica itself. Both Pasadena and Long Beach and have hosted their own open-streets events as well, letting folks explore those cities car-free.

As for CicLAvia, the next event will come on May 15th, when it will host the largest open-streets event in the country's history across six cities in Southeast L.A. County.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story said the event was to be organized by Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. This is incorrect, and the open-streets is being organized by the City of Santa Monica itself.

Update 3/25: A spokesperson for the city of Santa Monica tells LAist that beer gardens and live music will not be a part of this event.